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Top 10 Most Beautiful Drives in the World
In the words of great American author, Jack Kerouac, "Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road." Road trips have quenched the thirst of travel nomads for over a hundred years, and while it is thrilling to hop a plane to exotic destinations, sometimes avoiding lengthy customs line-ups, cranky travelers and jet-lag come in a distant second to tossing a few things in the backseat and hitting the road. Whether you're making it up as you go or following a carefully crafted itinerary, road trips are still an old favorite. Need a little inspiration? Here are ten of the most beautiful drives in the world to get that imagination firing!
The Oberalp Pass, Switzerland
Linking the Central Switzerland and the Graubunden Oberland, this road is a must-do on any European itinerary. Wind your way through carpeted, mountainous terrain, and marvel at quaint villages along the way and enjoy crisp mountain air. This road is only open during the late spring and summer months, and in the winter, parts of it are actually used as ski slopes and an access point for local traffic.
Seward Highway, Alaska
This highway only stretches for 127 miles but it will feel like twice that because you'll want to stop every five minutes to take photos. Stretching from the sea, over the Kenai Penninsula and eventually ending up in Seward in Resurrection Bay, an array of pristine waterfalls, awe inspiring glacial views and playful sea mammals await you.
England is renowned for its lolling hills, emerald green surroundings, quaint medieval villages and warm hospitality. The white-washed villages of the Cornish peninsula (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destination/uk/60431/Cornwall-travel-guide.html ) will arrest the heart and inspire anyone who spends a moment or two amidst it's exquisiteness to take up poetry. Along the way, visit a ninth-century Penzance cross, wander a neolithic sites in St. Michael's Mount, and visit the Trebah Garden hailed as one of the top 80 gardens in the world.
The Flower Route, Netherlands
Often hailed as one of the 500 ‘Drives of a Lifetime' by National Geographic, driving through vibrant fields of tulips is definitely something that needs to make your bucket list! Beginning in Haarlem and meandering 25 miles south to Leiden, this drive is short but sweet, and in the spring and summer months, it's daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips for as the eye can see.
North Island, New Zealand
Yet another ‘500 Drives of a Lifetime' makes our list and it should come as no surprise that New Zealand is a hailed as one of the must-see driving experiences of a lifetime. Rugged terrain, azure lakes, and rich and vibrant eclectic culture, pack your bags, hop a plane and spend a few weeks meandering through Middle Earth.
Finger Lakes, New York
When it comes to the big Apple, most people think of the bright lights of Times Square, the excitement of the West End, and shopping on 5th Avenue. Do something different. After you touch down in JFK, snag yourself a renal car and head to the center of New York State. Drink your way through some of the finest vineyards on earth, picnic alongside tranquil lakes and take in sweeping vistas.
Sidemen Valley, Bali
Anyone who's watched ‘Eat Pray Love‘ couldn't help but fall in love with the emerald green rice terraces of the Balinese countryside. Much of the filming took place in a what can easily be called paradise on earth, the Sidemen Valley. The road to Sidemen wanders in from the south of Bali and over to the coast. Volcanic peaks, and tropical flora in greens you could scarce imagine, coupled with quiet Balinese villages and warm smiles make this a must-do while you're in Bali.
Sea-to-Sky Highway, Canada
The sea-to-sky corridor stretches from the pearl of the West Coast, Vancouver, up to North America's premier ski resort, Whistler, home of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. With the sea on one side and formidable mountain terrain on the other, keep your eyes peeled for soaring eagles and roadside grazing black bears.
The Florida Keys, USA
Snag a convertible, slap on some sunscreen and make your way to ‘Margaritaville'. A unique overseas highway, slips through tiny islands, across 42 bridges, and only takes four hours to get from one end to the other and back again! Time it right, and you could be sipping an umbrella drink, watching the sun go down and enjoying the Caribbean feel of life in the Keys just hours from touching down at Miami airport.
The Great Ocean Road, Australia
Ever notice how everything in Australia is ‘Great'? Well, the Great Ocean Road has certainly earned the title. Nestled between the modest towns of Torquay and Warrnambool on Australia's southeastern coast, it was actually built by returned World War One soldiers, making it the world's largest Great War memorials. Infinite ocean views, sharp cliffs, exotic fauna and crisp ocean breezes make this a drive one you'll be talking about for years to come!